DA on the 5th of June

This week, both AL and TT sent through their sterling efforts.

TT couldn’t quite emulate his recent perfect performances, wisely leaving 13D, 18A and 24A blank instead of wasting a weekend whittling with words:

TT and DA on the 5th of June

AL, on the other hand, yet again displayed why he is generally the go-to man for any of DA’s curly clues, downing this week’s cryptic in a couple of hours (maybe the SMH version is easier) after having blanched at fugitive once more appearing in the clues:

AL does DA over again

So was this week’s easy, difficult, about right? Was it fun?

28 thoughts on “DA on the 5th of June

  1. And with the help of AL’s crossword, 24A is pretty funny: utter majestic (royal) = roil = stir.

    As for 18A (It’s close to pitch in heart! = NIGHT), I don’t even know where to start an explanation.

    13D is a nice one:

    guru lost face = savant – s, skimply plot = garden – n, guru lost face with skimpy plot = avant garde = pioneering.

  2. 18A: It’s close = NIGH; heart of piTch = T; and the ! at the end I took to mean it was an &lit clue – at heart, night would indeed be close to pitch (black).

    I thought 12A was pretty good, and the direct clue in 16D well hidden. 11D a nicely complicated construction, and 10A well hidden.

    Can someone explain the indrect part of 17A, please?

  3. I found it difficult, with not too many fun clues, tho’ a number are well-constructed -3D,13D and 14D are very good.. But I reckon 7D is very suss, and I can’t buy ‘squad’ in 10A as being an “included in” pointer.
    Can someone explain 16D for me?

  4. 16D: Direct clue: rake = DEBAUCHEE. flower patch = BED, up -> DEB. exposing Gold = AU. red = CHE. And the border of primrose might be E?

  5. haiku, 17A: course = route, heading is ‘r’, so heading inside is outre

    this is the first time in months i’ve finished DA in a couple of hours, but my satisfaction was kind of spoiled by the fact that i couldn’t work out why debauchee was right (I don’t get the ‘chee’ part)

  6. che = red because guevara was a marxist?
    i thought of that but it seemed tenuous

  7. Overall a bit tougher than recent puzzles, I thought, although there were a few easy ones. Couldn’t get 2D, which I now see is DITZ. I reckon that makes three &lit clues this week: 2D, 18A and 11D (&lit is not my favourite clue type, although 11D was very clever). And I couldn’t fully explain 17A and 16D – thanks for the explanations above.

    Favourite: 13D. Pretty good: 11D, 20A+23D, 8D.

    7D would have been very good, but the direct clue was poor.

  8. Two candidates for GOLD this week, perhaps:

    15-A: Cleared = against [V] the greatest [ALI] old [DATED] Lovely use of Ali…

    14-D Likely Fugitive = pale [LIGHT] during search [FRISK] = FLIGHT RISK.

    Not overly sure about 9-A and 10-A but otherwise an excellent puzzle.

  9. I found this one a bit easier than usual, but very enjoyable. I had all but three clues solved on the Friday, including my favourite, guffaw-inducing 20A, 23D (the other 2 were 13D & 10A). Except that I had the first word of the phrase in that clue wrong which held me up until mid-Sunday, when with that correction the answer to 13D jumped out at me immediately. Which left 10A which still has me absolutely nonplussed. I will peek at the solutions now…

  10. 10A is a DA Teaching for me, but not a particularly intellectual one. I had never heard of NERF until I googled just now. And I agree with JG that ‘squad’ as an ‘included in’ indicator is a bit iffy.

    I liked the three &lits. I think that 2D and 16A were the most successful technically. I don’t quite understand how the ‘but half of us’ part of the 11A clue is necessary to the wordplay (as distinct from the definition).

    20A, 23D: Move to clothe a local vagrant (3,4,3,2,4) is typical of “cheeky” DA (pun intended). GET YOUR BUM IN GEAR. Hilarious! I first put in “PUT your bum in gear” which sidetracked me for ages…

  11. Like you, NC, I’m a bit puzzled by some &lit clues. It seems that sometimes part of the clue is not involved in the wordplay or the definition. The three &lits in this crossword illustrate my point.

    In 11D, “but half of us” is not involved in the wordplay.

    In 2D, “it’s said” is not involved in the definition.

    In 18A, the whole clue serves both as wordplay and definition.

    My main objection to this type of clue is that the definition is often quite tenuous. In the three examples above, only 2D had a clear definition (ditz=dunderhead). Remember the kite-surfer &lit clue from a couple of months ago, which excited much adverse comment!

  12. My dad etched “Get you bum in gear!” into my head.

    Off topic. Can anyone help out with this clue from Saturday’s Australian: “Ned Kelly, for example, bit?” The answer is probably BANDIT, but why? Inquiring minds are inquiring.

  13. There’s a lovely clue in Tuesday’s crossword, by DH, of a type that I haven’t seen before: 17A. Intern pilot has… The answer is (I hope) ‘Hospital doctor’ = intern, and ‘hospital’ doctored gives you ‘pilot has’. Very neat, and I think, very unusual.

  14. That is a nice clue, JG.

    I think DA has used that double-cross before, where the indicator for the wordplay (anagram in this case) forms part of the answer. I can’t recall an example, though. Can anybody help?

    Those kind of clues can be fiendishly difficult.

  15. JG, that clue might not be as clever as it appears.

    The “…” sometimes means, but frustratingly not always, that the answer to the next clue completes the clue. So 17A might conceivably be “Intern pilot has… (DISPERSED LIGHT)” and not be so special.

  16. I was about to post the DA Gold, and I was going to include 11D and 8D because the consensus seems to be that they are worthy, just that I can’t explain them completely.

    Any help available there?

  17. Oops. Posted in the wrong place.
    Here it is again:

    8 down: [indecisive] quality of Manx dog climbing barrier i’d installed
    dog = Fido, manx dog = Fido without its tail = FID, climbing is reversal indicator, hence DIF; barrier = FENCE; I’d installed means put ID in the middle of FENCE; thusly,
    answer = DIFFIDENCE
    Let’s see if I can figure out the Hindu Crossword Corner notation I just posted on. Except for the left angle bracket or less than symbol which I will represent as &LT, it looks like:
    (-o){DIF&LT-}F{ID}ENCE = indecisive quality

  18. As for the 11A &lit clue, MISOGYNISTIC is an anagram of “socially smiting” minus the “all”…

  19. AS, is 8D kosher? A manx cat has no tail, but a manx dog?

    (BTW, it seems I will have to start using “MSF” now … Someone Else
    has been posting using _my_ “MF” handle. Harrumpph!)

  20. I agree, MSF. Although I like the clue, it seems to be flawed. A Manx dog?!?

    And AS, re your comment on the DH clue “Intern pilot has …”: I don’t know what crossword you’re looking at, but in my copy of Tuesday’s Age, the next clue after 17A contains no reference to “dispersed light” in the clue or in the answer! I reckon it’s a lovely clue!

    In this case (and most/all other cases I’ve come across) the only reason I can see for the “…” linking the two clues together seems to be that it suits the sentence structure. So in this case 17A ends with a transitive verb (has) and no object – the object (start) is supplied by the start of the next clue. There’s a similar use of “…” in the most recent DA (15A and 17A), which seem to be linked for no other purpose than to make the clues read more smoothly. Has anyone got an example of “…” where there is a pertinent link between the clues?

  21. MSF, I was wondering when initials would start to double up, and I’m a little surprised to see that it’s taken so long to happen. I’m glad you at least have a middle name!

    MSF and RC, I think the clue is clever. It actually makes no reference to a Manx dog as such. Dog = fido, and manx dog = fido – o = fid because manx is interpreted as a linguistic instruction because of its relation to the cat, and that linguistic instruction is applied to the reference to a dog.

    RC, I was using DISPERSED LIGHT as an example of what might have been the answer to the following clue. I didn’t have the crossword available, so I just made up an answer to the following clue to demonstrate how it might possibly work.

    Also, there are a few examples of DA clues on this blog where the “…” actually means to look to the next or previous clue.

    Here are a couple of links:



  22. I agree with AS about Manx. I expect we just have to add Manx to our indicator list as meaning “take off the end bit” applying in general. Maybe this could be added to the DA specialties category?

  23. Good point. Manx cats are best known for their lack of a tail. So Manx = tailless is kosher after all.

    AS, thanks for the links illustrating the use of “…” to meaningfully connect two clues. I had looked at three recent crosswords (DA, DP, DH) and the only reason for the “…” seems to be to make the connected clues read more smoothly. Ironically, your first link also contains such an example (3D)!

    Whilst on the topic of “…”, I seem to recall a clue from months ago (probably DA) where the trailing “…” meant actual dots/points/stops, but was so well disguised that it took a long time for the penny to drop.

  24. RB, I think the clue you are referring to was 14 down on 31st Jan 2009.
    14 down: Guards causing endless ruckus about … revolt (10)
    That one was awesome.

    As pointed out by Michael Fuller, … was used as a synonym for “dots”.

    …=dots, revolt is the reversal indicator, causing endless = causin. Then make an anagram of causin+tods = CUSTODIANS =guards.


    I can’t remember if “revolt” was actually in the 14 down clue or if the … was trailing and “revolt” was the answer to the following clue. If the latter, it would have been fiendish, but it’s the sort of thing I would expect from DA.

  25. Yes, NC. That’s the one. A masterful clue. I think “revolt” was actually in the 14D clue (rather than being the answer to the following clue).

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